"Do it! You’ll wonder why you didn’t do it before! You’ll get a real kick out of helping others and you’ll make some great new friends."
Shas: I first got involved because I wanted to help raise funds and awareness for a charity that personally affected me. I hadn’t been involved with the local Crohn’s & Colitis UK network before even though I’d known about it for several years and I thought it was about time I did something! I’m retired now so I have even more time to help.
Dani: I wanted to fundraise, raise awareness and also make new friends with people who understand and share their experiences with their own IBD journey.
Raising £11,000 for the Network’s 30th anniversary was a real high. We decided at the start of the year that we wanted to go all out and do something special, so we put on a Family Fun Day – it was hard work to organise but we felt a real sense of achievement afterwards.
We love it when an event we put on brings us into contact with people who hadn’t heard of us before and you can see how genuinely pleased they are to find someone who understands.
East Cornwall & West Devon is a really sociable and innovative local network and we’ve made some lovely new friends. As a team we agreed that we will only put on events that we think are fun – that way we figure there are bound to be at least some others who agree and will come along!
We know we make an impact, for example, Dani wore her Crohn's and Colitis UK hoodie to work and a lady came up and said "thank you for raising awareness" - she didn't know the charity existed.
Having WALK IT here in Plymouth in 2017 was amazing - I could never have imagined 300+ people on Plymouth Hoe supporting a charity so close to my heart.
Letting people know there are others who are going through the same feelings, experiences, and frustrations is a great feeling. For so many people we speak to it’s a massive relief to know they’re not alone. We also remind people they can still have fun even though they have a chronic disease.
If you're thinking about volunteering, do it! You’ll wonder why you didn’t do it before! You’ll get a real kick out of helping others and you’ll make some great new friends.